The HBCU football community was in an uproar this weekend following the 31-10 beat down that South Carolina State gave Jackson State in the Celebration Bowl.
The game stirred up conversation across Twitter and from multiple schools about who should be the Black College Football national champions.
South Carolina State obviously won the game that is supposed to be branded as the HBCU National Championship but many around the country weren’t giving them their respect because of their early-season losses to SWAC opponents like Florida A&M, and Alabama A&M. They also lost to HBCU foe North Carolina A&T who is now in the Big South Conference.
I’ve seen arguments from all over the place about who should be considered the 2021 Black College Football national champions.
Frankly, I don’t understand how FAMU even has an argument to be the HBCU national champions. They didn’t even win their division let alone their conference. The one point that they have is the fact they beat South Carolina State earlier in the season. But who knows what the outcome would have been if the Rattlers and Bulldogs played right now? It’s not out of the ordinary for the Celebration Bowl winner to have HBCU losses on its resume. It’s actually happened a few times since the event began in 2015.
The agreement between the SWAC and MEAC to play the Celebration Bowl leaves little interpretation for a Division one HBCU champion because the winner of the game assumes the crown.
However, where the conversation gets interesting is when you start to discuss which team had the best season and open it up to different levels of football. The Division II Bowie State Bulldogs had arguably the best season of any HBCU program. The squad won 12 games, went undefeated in their conference, and went further in the division two playoffs than any other team in school history.
The only reason that some people won’t acknowledge the fact that Bowie State should be the overall HBCU National Champions is because they are a division two team. But what if we started looking at HBCU football in the same way we look at boxing?
Nowadays people don’t hold it against boxers that fought in lighter weight classes. They celebrate their accomplishments in the ring because of their dominance against the people who were in front of them. The HBCU community should do the same for Bowie State.
We can all recognize greatness when we see it and we should award it accordingly. If we are judging every HBCU program, then Bowie State should be the champions. They were the best pound-for-pound HBCU program this season.
Their resume speaks for itself. Let’s get them the respect they deserve.
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